NORTHBROOK, IL-Locally-based Prime Property Investors Ltd. wantsto cash out with a few properties, as well as provide funds todiversify its multifamily portfolio. The company has hired HollidayFenoglio Fowler to market 15 student housing properties in threestates, for a total of more than 1,000 units.

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Michael Zaransky with Prime says that these properties, aroundfour separate colleges, represent one-third of the firm’s $150million student housing portfolio. Included in the for-sale groupare three separate properties at Indiana University in Bloomington,IN; the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE; and Bradford Oaksnear Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. The other 12properties are scattered around the Purdue University campus inWest Lafayette, IN. The portfolio is 100% leased, Zaranskysays.

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Prime wants to sell for two reasons, he tells GlobeSt.com.“We’re at a point where we want to liquidate part of our funds forinvestors,” Zaransky says. “Also, we want to expand ourconventional multihousing portfolio, specifically in the suburbanChicago area.” He says the firm is top heavy with student housing,with only about $45 million invested in multifamily properties.

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Reasons for the Chicago area include the demographics, and lackof new product, Zaransky says. “Unlike in the city, where there’scertain pockets that are overbuilt, in the suburban market there’sgood demand and growth opportunities. We’re seeing that inproperties we already own,” he says.

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The student housing market, like the entire multifamily market,is on fire, at least in comparison with other product types. Thissuccess has encouraged capital, with debt available for qualityprojects. “We’re expecting a big appetite and multiple bidders,including from firms that are new to the market and looking todiversify,” Zaransky says.

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